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Infants » Child Care

Observing Child Care Centers

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When parents do need a child care program, there is no substitute for taking the time to visit several neighborhood centers. If you have never visited a child care center, you may feel strange at first, but a meeting with administrators and staff is as important as any other kind of business meeting. Talk. Ask questions. Be a curious observor.

Ask to see every room. Centers are arranged according to the learning activities planned for individual children. Tour the outside of the center, as well as the kitchen, sleeping spaces, and bathrooms.

Are the toys and materials accessible, plentiful, and clean? Is the furniture in good condition? Are there plenty of games and activities visible and attractively arranged on shelves?

Each center should have a wide selection of equipment that will keep children busy and happy all day long. This is important because no mom or dad wants to pick up children after a long day at work and find the child has spent the day being bored and frustrated.

A sample question would be: "I'm looking for day care that fits my child's needs. He's a very active child. I want to be sure he has the best start in life, so I've taken the time to look around at different centers just to see for myself how they operate."

Ask Dr. Susan